LOOKING FOR LISTS FROM OTHER YEARS?
601 Murray Circle
Tel: 888 651 2003 (toll-free)
Tel: 415 339 4700
A national park lodge that trades the elk antlers and log beams for modern art and bamboo ceilings, Cavallo Point is a rare species. The footprint of the property hasn't changed much from its days as an Army post, and half of the rooms are in the former officers' quarters. Built in 1909, these historic accommodations have a homey feel, each with its own quirks of the original Colonial-Revival architecture. The newly built accommodations are the most visible aspect of Cavallo Point's bid for LEED certification: Think solar panels and denim insulation (how refreshing, too, to enter an empty hotel room where every light isn't on). Staff don't yet have service down to a science, but their charm offsets any hiccups you might encounter. Best of all, this spit of land hidden at the Marin-side foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, has the loveliest view of San Franciscoalthough the earplugs stashed in every room suggest that foghorns could be an issue. Guests can perfect their running stride or their knitting stitch in one of the multi-day learning programs. And chef Joseph Humphrey oversees the delicious dishes at Murray Circle, the clubby Farley Bar, and the Healing Arts Center's healthy Tea Bar.
When to go: September, when the summer fog has cleared.
Which room to book: Historic No. 601, for a porch that looks onto the parade grounds and the distant skyline, or contemporary No. 2004, for a walk-around fireplace and a view of the flame-colored Golden Gate.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.